I write that without any hesitation, reservation or research. I don't need to look at his stats. I know what he's done.
The Hall of Fame should be about impact, not statistics. Numbers are nice, but they don't necessarily make the player.
Some Hall of Fame cases are being built on a pile of numbers now, and I can see how in rare cases a player's career can be re-evaluated by dissecting the latest data. But in general, I think that's a funny way to get into Cooperstown. Conversely, Schilling is maybe the perfect example of a pitcher who had great impact but whose career regular-year numbers are merely excellent but not among the all-time best.
The Hall of Fame should be for players who did great things, staged big moments and affected things the way Schilling did.
Like him or hate (and I can't say I fall into the former category there, as I consider him a cyber and in-person annoyance), Schilling had a tremendous impact on most games he pitched, and on the game itself. He was a star who pitched his team into four World Series, and to three titles. In 2001 and 2004 in particular, it was his pitching that made the difference.
I ran into Schilling's former Phillies teammate
Former Phillies GM Ed Wade expressed a variation of that statement (only said much harsher) many years ago. It went something along the lines of, "He was a horse once every five days and a horse's ass the other four days.''
Although I never spent four consecutive days with Schilling, I don't doubt that. He always came off as a guy who thought he was an expert in everything simply because he had more pitching talent than just about anyone else. He still blows hard on his
Anyway, Schilling still gets credit for that fifth day, not demerits for the other four. Schilling was often great on that fifth day, and he was almost always great when it mattered most.
There are people who believe that he played the famed "bloody sock'' game for all it was worth, that he purposely made it look good, or at least did nothing to stem the flow of blood. I wouldn't put much past Schilling, but I am convinced that he was hurt, and that he was bleeding, and that he should get credit for pitching heroically that day, for beating the Yankees and the jinx, and for helping the Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in 86 years.
He called a championship for Boston -- saying that was his intention the moment the Diamondbacks traded him there -- then he delivered. That's almost Namath-like.
That Schilling won "only'' 216 games shouldn't be counted against him. That he had "only'' maybe seven or eight great seasons shouldn't either. If it's about numbers, it shouldn't only be about total numbers. He had three 300-strikeout seasons, three 20-win seasons. He struck 3,116 batters while only walking 711.
He had all-time stuff. And as much as I hate to admit this, he had all-time heart. He was 10-2 with a 2.23 ERA in the postseason. He and
It's safe to say Schilling is about the last person I'd want to spend any appreciable time with. But if I had a game on the line I had to win, and if
There is plenty of offensive firepower in the San Francisco Giants clubhouse. Or there was on the day I visited.
Among active players,
"I think if the Giants signed Manny, they would be the frontrunner in that division,'' one competing GM said.
But Giants people approached the Ramirez negotiations as an outsider only prepared to pounce should the negotiations between Dodgers owner
The Giants looks like a half a team in some respects. Their starting pitching looks dynamic, but their offense could easily come up limp again. There's a lot of talk about how great the Giants' pitching might be, especially with 45-year-old Randy Johnson looking good in camp. But as one competing GM said, "Exactly how many games can you win, 1-0?''
They might have to win a few.
Even though Mays, McCovey and (to a lesser degree) Clark are only reminders of past offensive prowess, and Ramirez went back to the Dodgers, there's still a lot more optimism in Giants camp than last year
"I think we'll put more runs on the board more consistently,'' manager
Bochy cites several very reasonable factors for why he believes this, ranging from the offensively strong
They will be better. However, it's still hard to imagine an offense where the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters are Lewis and
The Giants should feel somewhat better about things. But if they wanted a realistic chance to beat the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, they should have gone for Manny.
One thing I like about the Giants' Molina is his positive attitude. Here's how he recently summarized that very nice -- but not perfect -- Giants starting rotation:
As a group, they are very good. And they're going to have to be.
"A work in progress'' is what one competing executive charitably calls them.
• Top Orioles catching prospect
• The Rays' decision to send down
• The Cardinals (16-7) are having a very nice spring, and it doesn't hurt that
• La Russa doesn't seem especially uncomfortable without a set closer. "We've got a lot of guys ... they're good.''
• As he has in the past when his contract is about to expire, La Russa is saying nothing about his desire to stay beyond mentioning that both the Cardinals and he will evaluate things at the end of the season.
• The Indians' call to name poised youngster
• The White Sox did the right thing sending top prospect
• No surprise that
• Yankees GM
• Maybe I'm from the old school, but I have to question
• The Mets, Mariners and Tigers bought into the WBC, but some teams, like the Cubs, showed no interest.
• Padres club president
• As a South Florida resident, I am disgusted that a new baseball park was approved in an economy where the ocean is lined with empty condos. But I have to give credit to the Marlins for somehow getting the darned thing approved.
• My condolences to